Who Wants to Know where Artists Live?


  • Eglė Grėbliauskaitė




institution, evaluation, interpretation, emancipated spectator, artist‘ text, system of though


This article was prepared for the conference „How to Tell About Art? Art History, Criticism, Texts and Narratives in Lithuania“ which was organized by the Institute of Art Research. The conference description stated: “The aim of art history and criticism is to open the work of art to the imagination of the perceiver.”

What texts on art best reveal their artistic dimensions? All texts leave traces and affects perception, depending on the influence and symbolic value of the interpreter and the emancipation of the viewer or perceiver. How many and which perceptual references, what plug-ins/crutches does the viewer really need from an art critic? For Jacques Rancière, the emancipation of the viewer begins with the principle of equality. However, the art institution often insists on the ‘correct’ way to view the work, as well as what to buy, collect and watch, thus enforcing a linear understanding of cultural development. American antropologist Clifford Geertz argues that culture cannot be described by imposing ideas and advocates for the percetion–based, rather than evaluation–based understanding of culture. According to the modern paradigm of cultural relativism, it is important to learn the language of those we research, so that we could look over their shoulder, without succumbing to the Darwinian scientific racism. The latter violates the artist’s autonomous representation of free thought, as well as the viewer’s freedom to choose and interpret works of art according to their own experience.

The artist’s own ‘study’ of the authentic origins of an artwork can be considered as a unveiling of the unexposed part of the artwork in textual form. Artists own narrative frees them from the necessity to evaluate and provides material for studies of the peculiar systems of artistic thinking and creative genesis.

Speaking about – or rather, with – art and artistic approach presuppose a respectful relationship with the art viewer and perceiver: instead of explaining what the particular experience should/could feel like, it provides more material for perception and further artistic interpretation.

Could this help us “open the work of art to the imagination of the perceiver”?

It is possible that, when written by a non-canonical artist, such a text with its ambiguous ties to the artwork would not only hamper the viewer’s imagination, but also deconstruct any pre-existing fragmentary perception. The art history inventory finds complicated systems inconvenient. Therefore, by asking “Who Wants to Know where Artists live?”, I not only emphasise the Who, which refers to the interested party, but also ask weather (who needs it) or why it could be interesting to know all that, and what to do with it.

The article presents excerpts from a piece of author’s artistic writing which was read as a conference paper. The reader is therefore invited to sample the experience.

Author Biography

Eglė Grėbliauskaitė

artist and researcher, graduated with MA in painting (2015), doctor of arts (2022, thesis title: “Sociopsychological Mechanisms of Repression – The Fight for the Value Center, or – In the Maze of Hungry Shadows”), Master of Business Administration (MBA) from The Open University, UK (2001). Staterecognised Artist, member of the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (since 2016). Currently postdoctorate researcher and lecturer at Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science (since 2022), associate professor at the Faculty of Creative Industries of Vilnius Gediminas technical university (VILNIUS TECH) (since 2021). Exhibits work nationally and internationally since 2007. The list of her most notable projects includes “Kombinatas” (2015), “New Good Floor for ‘Titanic’” (2016), “I crashed against the cold wall and woke up from my dream” (2018), and “Let‘s Not Forget Not to Remember ” (2021, with Agnė Gintalaitė). In her work, Grėbliauskaitė uses installation, sculpture, painting, unconventional means of expression and intuitive theoretical and physical strategies. Her projects are largely focused on the cultural and social development of society. Grėbliauskaitė works with the range of research topics, including socio-psychological mechanisms of repression in contemporary society, the critique of institutional critique, the role of art, and the battles for the centre of value.

More about the author: www.eglegrebliauskaite.com.

Reproduction of page spread from Jacques Derrida’s book Glas (1986), as used in Arnas Anskaitis doctoral art project-dissertation Knowledge That Artist Has at Their Disposal: Seven Trace-Maps, 2021, photo by the artist

Additional Files



How to Cite

Grėbliauskaitė , E. (2022). Who Wants to Know where Artists Live?. Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (107), 265–295. https://doi.org/10.37522/aaav.107.2022.143